'Big brain' gene found in humans, not chimps

February 27, 2015 3:15 PM

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'Big brain' gene found in humans, not chimps

New research suggests that a single gene may be responsible for the large number of neurons found uniquely in the human brain. When this gene was inserted in the brain of a mouse embryo (shown here), it induced the formation of many more neuron (Marta Florio and Wieland B. Huttner, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics)

A single gene may have paved the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of brain cells found in a key brain region.

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